Football

Reports Emerge Of 'Snus' Use Among Premier League Players

Reports Emerge Of 'Snus' Use Among Premier League Players

While the drug itself may sound like the type of prank Brass Eye's Chris Morris might have dreamt up, reports from Sportsmail suggest that 'snus' is rife in English football.

According to New Nicotine Alliance website snus is 'a moist, smokeless powdered tobacco. It is sold as a loose powder or pre-packaged in a small sachet (a bit like a mini tea bag). It contains ground tobacco, salt and may contain food-grade smoke aroma flavourings, such as citrus, bergamot, juniper, herb or floral flavours'.  Each pouch gives a hit of 27.3mg of nicotine, compared to 10mg from a cigarette.

The product is placed between the upper lip and gum and nicotine is released into the saliva. Snus has been linked to gum cancer as well as a host of other diseases and the rise of popularity of the product in the UK is thought to have stemmed from the influx of Scandinavian players into English football.

Snus is currently on the World Anti-Doping Agency's monitoring list and while the sale of the product was banned in the UK in 1992 over health concerns, this hasn't stopped it from being procured by the Premier League's elite. Jamie Vardy admitted to taking the drug in his 2016 autobiography and claiming other players have used the substance during matches. Sportsmail have also found snus debris in the King Power dug out earlier this month.

Speaking to one Championship manager, Sportsmail revealed that players are using snus as an appetite suppressant and that use of the product is widespread:

It's absolutely rife, it's a disaster. It gives you a buzz and you've got players putting it in before and during games. Next time you're watching a game, look at how many players look like they have something behind their top lips. That's a tell-tale sign.

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Deputy chief executive of the PFA John Bramhall said snus is something that they are aware of that the body will look to see "if there is a need to educate members on the potential risks involved in using this substance".

There isn't thought to be any performance enhancing qualities to taking snus however New Zealand lecturer Dr. Toby Mundel has called for studies to be commissioned to find out if the product gives an unfair advantage to those who take it, as he believes it improves 'alertness, concentration, strength and power.'

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Eoin Lyons

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